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17 août 2011 3 17 /08 /août /2011 20:37

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


There's an activity I only have time for during summer.


Il y a une activité que je ne pratique presque que l'été.


Sunbathing? Scuba diving? Surfing?


You're so very wrong! Cross-stitching!


Bain de soleil? Plongée sous-marine? Surf?


Vous n'y êtes pas du tout! Je brode.


The vet said I had to keep a close eye on my cat to see if he had any more fit. So I took the embroidery out every day while he was in my parents' garden.


I did a couple project for other people and then I took the fancy to do something for my kitchen... because one day I will have a proper kicthen (a girl can dream!).


I bought that plain dish towel.





A butterfly seemed to like it as it stayed there while I took the picture!




Here's what the towel looks like after a 30-something hour work. Not in a row, of course, I did eat and sleep a little!




Voici à quoi ressemble maintenant le torchon de cuisine (après de nombreuses heures de travail). Il a un petit air de noël alsacien, non?




It looks a bit Christmasy and alsacian, I think.




I'm sorry I had no time to iron it before taking the pictures... I just remembered to snap the pictures before packing everything to go back home (still a mess but a liveable kind of mess - if by "live" I mean camping in the wild nature is easier !).





Magali, from the Little White House







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8 août 2011 1 08 /08 /août /2011 21:57

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


First of all, I'd like to thank all the people who left nice comments lately. It always make my day to read them... Every now and then "overblog" doesn't allow me to write back after the comments... But I always make a point to visit your blogs when you leave a comment.




The renovation is still going on at the Little White House. It's not always a pretty sight.


Les rénovations sont toujours en cours à la maison. Et ce n'est pas forcément joli joli.




So far, the new foundation slab is ready.


Du côté positif, la dalle est coulée.




The electricty is being completely redone downstairs.


L'électricité est en train d'être refaite, non sans mal.




The water pipes are still floating in the middle of the living-room (they used to be along a wall I'm not rebuilding!).




On the bright side, the tiles began to be laid on the new floor today.


Le premier carreau vient d'être posé.




So rather than showing you depressing pictures, I thought I would share with you some pictures of my mum's garden... Where we spend a lot of time talking about what's the house is going to look like later.




Plutôt que des photos de chantiers, j'ai donc choisi de vous montrer le jardin de ma maman.




Also, I was wondering if some of you could give me some advice... cat advice.


My darling Shadow is sick: he had an epileptic fit a few days ago.




So far the urea level is OK. It's not diabetis either, it has been checked (I had the results for that a few hours ago). The vet said it could be brain tumour, which freaks me out.





I noticed that lots of you have cats. Have you ever had a cat that had a first epileptic fit when he was an adult?


I will have new pictures of the house in a next post.




Magali, from her Mum’s garden





                                                               (Me, trying to help in the kitchen garden!)


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2 août 2011 2 02 /08 /août /2011 14:08

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,



You may think that I've completely lost my mind due to all the pressure involved by the renovation.


Le titre de l'article vous fait peut-être croire que j'ai perdu la tête à cause du stress des travaux. Pas tout à fait.


Well, I lack some sleep, obviously, but no, the title does not mean that this blog is reorientated on wild animals.


"Hedgehog" is just the name, in French, of something that's been done to my house.




You may remember that during the small renovation that was planned, we discovered that the floor was in a pitiful state. Decision was made to get rid of it all...


Peut-être vous souvenez-vous que nous avons découvert une dalle presque inexistante dans la maison et que j'ai pris la décision de la refaire faire (euh, oui, mes capacités de bricoleuse s'arrêtent là).




And then to dig so that the new floor should be thicker than the previous one.


It was a sad thing to visit the house in this state.


On a donc défait tout ce qu'il y avait, puis creuser pour faire quelque chose de plus épais qu'avant.




Once everything was leveled, the new electric wires were installed. Above, you can see what used to be the kicthen and the dining-room.


Quand tout le sol a été suffisamment profond, les nouveaux cables électriques ont été passés.




Then, they put a draining system on the perimeter of the house (sorry, forgot the camera that day). After, the hedgehog was done. It's such a cute name for a bed of rocks.


C'est alors que le hérisson rentre en jeu. Un joli petit nom pour une épaisse couche de cailloux qui a été étalée sur le sol après que le drainage a été terminé.




Finally the new concrete foundation slab was ready! It might sound stupid, but the day I came to visit the house and see the slab that had been done the previous day, I was as excited as if it was a first date!


Enfin, la nouvelle dalle a été coulée et j'étais aussi excitée que pour un premier rendez-vous le jour où je suis venue à la maison pour voir ce nouveau sol.


This week the walls are to be built back... and of course there's been a new little problem to be dealt with... But that's for an other post!




Magali, from the Little White House



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1 août 2011 1 01 /08 /août /2011 20:15


Dear readers,


With everything that's happening at the house (you can check here), I thought I deserved, or at least needed, some time off.


My parents live in a lovely town so I left my paintbrushes in their garage and headed downtown.


It's on the seaside.




There are the most beautiful houses to admire while walking by.




It's also a city where there are wonderful bakers.




Tell me your mouth is not watering... Liars!


There's also a shop that has yummy old-fashioned (and still hand-made) lollipops.




In the right jar, the lollipop flavour is typical from Brittany: salted butter fudge. Yummy!


Plus, bonus for me, it's amazing how many English shops there are in this French town!




"Jane Petticoat" has the most perfect china!




The owner of this tea room is always smiling. Have a look inside.




There's even an antique shop that specializes in everything English and old from teaspoons to china cabinets....




The best thing is maybe that the owner has a delicious accent...from Spain!


OK, I was just kidding, not about the accent, she's truly Mediterranean, but about this being the best thing.


The best thing is that it's the only shop on the coast selling...




that's right, Emma Bridgewater mugs!!! I love how Emma Bridegwater create designs that are traditional with a twist. I spend several minutes every week on their website, daydreaming... It would look so beautiful on my future kitchen shelves...


Speaking of, did you know that  Sarah, from Modern Country Style, is having an "Emma Bridgewater giveaway"? Really I shouldn't tell you, but go & visit her blog if you love what you see here:




If you don't already know Sarah's blog by heart, please click below:






Magali, from a very English French town




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28 juillet 2011 4 28 /07 /juillet /2011 21:22

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


As I'm at my parents', my mom joins me in my Sunday trips to attic-sales (aka as yard sales).


Comme je suis chez mes parents, ma Maman m'accompagne dans mes virées dans les vide-greniers du dimanche.




Going to an attic sale around here is a double delight: trying to find a rare object, of course, but also admiring the surroundings.


Ici, il faut regarder à la fois les stands et les vues autour des stands!


So the whole family got up early last Sunday... Or nearly the whole family!


Donc, tout le monde s'est levé à une heure matinale, enfin presque!




And look what I found! (for 3 euros, should I add)


Et voilà ce que j'avais trouvé ce jour-là.




I had been looking for a magazine holder for a while (if there's a proper word, please let me know).


Cela faisait un bail que j'en cherchais un pas cher. Et si vous pensez que je compte le mettre près du canapé, c'est trop traditionnel pour moi.


You might think it's going to join the living-room when it's done. But I have a different plan for that little piece.




Now, I'm pretty sure you are proper ladies whose bathroom floor is never covered with magazines of all kinds. But I'm not such a lady...

(The above picture was taken in my "maiden" bathroom at my parents': look what I did to it after living there for only three weeks!)


Maintenant, je suis sure que chez vous tout est toujours parfaitement rangé et qu'aucun magazine ne jonche le sol des toilettes... Mais voilà ce à quoi ressemble ma salle-de-bain chez mes parents après seulement trois semaines chez eux! Donc le petit meuble est censé rejoindre mes toilettes quand je serai de retour chez moi.


So the magazine holder is supposed to be in my upstair bathroom... that is when my staircase isn't floating in the air anymore (you can read about this here).




Still, that piece was a bit grandpa looking and I thought it was good idea to try my hand at painting furniture with such a small piece. That was really foolish as small means very difficult! Now, at least, I know that!


Seulement, celui-là avait bien l'air de sortir du grenier du grand-père à qui je l'ai acheté.




So it's full of imperfections but I like the way it turned out.


C'était ma première peinture de "meuble": certes, c'est plein de défauts mais j'ai fait de mon mieux.




All pictures were taken im my mom's garden, where it was so nice to rest after painting!


Toutes les photos ont été prises dans le jardin de ma Maman où il fit bon se reposer ensuite.





Magali, from her Mom’s garden



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26 juillet 2011 2 26 /07 /juillet /2011 21:10

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


Sometimes from a bad experience results something good or "it takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow".


Parfois d'un malheur naît quelque chose d'heureux ou "la pluie comme le soleil sont nécessaires pour faire un arc-en-ciel".


Due to major drainage problems, the whole floor of my little fisherman house is being removed, which also means that all the inside walls are gone as well.




It's really hard to think positive when the house is a little more destroyed every time I visit... But it's a necessary phase.


In this chaos, there are some nice surprises.


Il est vraiment difficile de penser positif quand la maison semble un peu plus détruite chaque fois que je m'y rends.




I always hated one of the rooms dowstairs: there is (or rather there was) a very small closet under the stairs where the toilets were.


J'ai toujours détesté les toilettes du bas, situé sous l'escalier. D'abord parce que je trouve qu'ils donnent l'impression d'être au milieu du salon; ensuite parce que le mur "enferme" un peu l'escalier.


I hated that room for two reasons: as it was directly off the living-room, I never used it, nor I never told my guests to go there (I mean who wants the other guests hearing you pee?). Only the upstairs toilets were used. I mean in such a small house how many toilets do you need?

Also, because it was under the stairs, it meant that there was a wall hinding the old staircase.

It's rather common in old houses around here. Imagine if poor Harry Potter had lived in Brittany, his address would have been "the-toilets-under-the-stairs"!




I had already had the idea to get rid of it, but I had thought it would be too complicated. You can see in the below picture that the wall had been built on the last stair.They really had a weird sense of beauty...


La cloison avait été montée sur la dernière marche.




Well, now that all the walls are off anyway, we'll just remove the toilets... which now seem to be in the middle of the living-room! At least there's a place to sit!


Puisque tous les murs ont dû tomber pour refaire la dalle... Autant se débarrasser de ces toilettes... Bon d'un autre côté, c'est actuellement le seul siège du rez-de-chaussée...




I love that now we can see the railing... The bottom stair is in a piteous state, but I'll deal with that later!




I just love how all the pipes are showing now! I was thinking of growing ivy around the upstair bathtub pipe, what do you think?


Even for me it's really difficult right now to see what I'll do with the living-room! Who can picture a comfy sofa in that mess? Would you want to have a cup of tea there? I should mention that there's no running water in the cottage these days...



My least words for today: thanks to all people who left nice comments lately, it really cheered me up! 




Magali, from a damaged Little White House


PS: Sorry for the quality of my pictures, but as you may imagine, there's currently no light in the house .



Last update: on my last visit to my dear little house, my very old staircase was floating above the floor. I keep my fingers crossed that it will keep holding on as it's supposed to stay that way for about a week or two. Would you keep you fingers crossed as well?



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22 juillet 2011 5 22 /07 /juillet /2011 20:39

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


If you would like to remember a wonderful chandelier, please press play...




My mom, who's sitting next to me as I'm writing, is making fun of me for comparing my chandeliers to the Opera's one...



This is just a quick post because I really want to be part of Sarah's paint party! But I'm back from the house where the renovation is going slowly its way and I'm really tired. Pictures of the mess the house is in will be posted later...


Voici juste un petit article sur ce sur quoi je travaille pendant que les travaux dans la maison avancent... trop lentement à mon goût! Les dernières photos (elles font vraiment peur) seront bientôt sur le blog.




I already tried to paint some light fixtures a few weeks (maybe months... Time just flies) ago. Since then, I've painted some more. Last week, I thought it was time to try my hand at real chandeliers. Also I needed to participate in some way at my house renovation. So I brought everything I needed at my parents' and began painting.




I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures but a) the weather really hasn't been cooperating around here - b) my parents really don't understand why I take pictures of things all the time and why on earth I need to take pictures at different spots of the house/garden...


Je suis navrée pour la qualité des photos mais le soleil n'est pas toujours de la partie ces derniers jours.



The small three light chandelier was in my grandfather's shop and I hope it will be above my dining-room table one day...


Le petit chandelier trois branches était dans la boutique de mon grand-père et je voudrais le mettre au dessus de la table de la salle-à-manger.




The five light one was bought in an "attic-sale" and is older than the other: I can tell because it's very heavy!


Le grand chandelier cinq branches a été trouvé dans une brocante et vu son poids, je pense qu'il est plus ancien que l'autre!




This one is supposed to be in the living-room when the beams won't be green any longer!




Celui-ci devrait rejoindre le salon quand les poutres n'y seront plus vertes... Quoique, blanc sur vert, ça peut rendre pas mal... Et si je gardais les poutres vertes???






Magali, from her parents’house (again !)



Joining some blog parties that are really enhancing my mood during tough times...


Sarah's paint party

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17 juillet 2011 7 17 /07 /juillet /2011 19:27

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


Here's an update of the Little White House's "course of renovation".


Voici des nouvelles des travaux de la Petite Maison.




That sponge-Bob-painted wall HAD TO disappear. Picture was taken right before the renovation began, so it's a little bare and the old sofa doesn't have its usual slipcover on.


Le mur avec peinture genre Bob l'éponge devait disparaître. Un an à vivre avec était mon maximum. La photo a été prise juste avant les travaux, donc c'est un peu vide.


Can you see the weird square at the bottom of the wall? That's where the fireplace used to be.




Vous voyez ce petit carré dans le bas du mur? C'est ce qui reste de la cheminée...


I was kind of hoping that maybe behind the drywall would be a nice little old stone fireplace...


J'espérais découvrir une jolie petite cheminée en pierre derrière le placo...




Here's the wall as we found it when the drywall was removed. Under it were two layers of wall papers, one of them being really old and truly vintage; and a layer of wattle and daub (had to check that on wikipedia and therefore learn a new English word!)... But no fireplace: as you can maybe see on the picture, it had been removed and filled with concrete.




Mais sous le placo, nous avons trouvé plusieurs couches de papier peint, dont un vraiment vieux et vintage à souhait, une couche de torchis, mais pas de cheminée: le manteau a été détruit un jour inconnu de l'histoire de la maison et rempli de béton...




That big hole could have been a black hole of dispear... But I thought it was just one more challenge! I already have an idea on what I could do to have one day a nice fireplace... It will just have to wait a little because the main thing right now is to pay for the new concrete foundation slab.


Ce grand trou dans le mur aurait pu être un trou noir de désespoir après avoir longtemps rêvé d'une belle cheminée... Mais en fait cela a remis mon cerveau en route pour trouver de nouvelles idées.


I think it's time for a big thank-you.

I'd like to thank all the people who organise wonderful blog parties on the Internet: thanks to you and all the talented partier, it's just amazing how fast I was able to think of different ideas for that fireplace. Thibaut, who you can see in the above picture, was really surprised that I came up with a new plan in two days!


The wall still needs to be cleaned and then new joint will be added between the stones, so that it'll look something like the guest bedroom wall:




Quand les pierres auront été nettoyées et rejointoyées, cela devrait à peu près ressembler au mur de la cahmbre d'amis que l'on peut voir au dessus.


If you have any idea on the fireplace, feel free to speak your mind in the comments.



                                                                                     Almost there... Je m'y crois presque...



Magali, from her parent’s house  



Joining some of those inspiring parties that make my mind full of ideas!


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16 juillet 2011 6 16 /07 /juillet /2011 20:22

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,


Things at the Little White House are slowly changing...


Les choses changent doucement à la Petite Maison...


You may remember that I wanted to get rid of the fake ceiling that is (or was) in the living-room.


Peut-être vous souvenez-vous que je voulais me débarrasser du faux plafond du salon.




And also that I was dreaming of white beams...


Et aussi que je rêvais de poutres blanches...




This will have to wait a little...


Eh bien, ce n'est pas pour tout de suite...


Because what we discovered when tearing off the fake ceiling are green and yellow beams.


Car ce que nous avons découvert, ce sont des poutres vertes et jaunes...




Did I already mention that the house lacked harmony???


And can you see the holes previous owners made in my beautiful beams for the electric cables? Shame on them!


En plus, les précédents propriétaires m'ont troué les poutres comme du gruyère pour y faire passer les cables électriques. Un carnage...




The two colours are remains of the time when there was a corridor for entry way and a wall between that corridor and the living-room.


Le fait que les poutres soient de deux couleurs est un reste de l'époque où il y avait un couloir d'entrée et un mur séparait ce couloir du salon.




And so, this is the time when I tell myself: "what was I thinking?" I mean the before pictures are actually better than the afters! Hopefully the after-after pictures will cheer us up.


Et c'est dans ces moments-là que je me demande: "mais qu'est-ce qui m'a pris de me lancer là dedans?"





Magali, from her parents’ house



Joining some more-inspiring-than-my-green-beams parties:


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13 juillet 2011 3 13 /07 /juillet /2011 21:09

Dear readers,


Chers lecteurs,




A few days ago, I packed everything that was downstairs, until it looked like this:




Rather bare, huh?




Pour le troisième été consécutif, j'ai donc mis toute ma maison, enfin tout le rez-de-chaussée, en cartons en prévision des travaux.




Just as a reminder, the idea was to open the wall between the kitchen and the dining-room, get rid of the awful cupboard in the living-room and of the fake ceiling, remove the drywall on the east wall in the living-room and retile the kitchen, the dining-room and the living-room. Easy, peasy?




Donc, pour ceux qui ont des trous de mémoire, le but de cette phase de travaux était de se débarrasser du placard du salon, du faux plafond, de créer une ouverture dans le mur qui sépare la cuisine de la salle-à-manger et enfin de recarreler les trois pièces.




We stucked all my furniture in the garage.


Tous les meubles ont été stockés dans le garage.




But when the workers removed the the drywall, we discovered that the stone wall was rather wet.


Quand le placo a été retiré, nous avons découvert un mur en pierre très détrempé.




So I asked them to dig a hole in the floor to see what was beneath... Well, pretty much nothing! You can see the not very deep hole above, that's all it took to get to the earth (a wet earth, given the area where it's located).


J'ai donc demandé qu'on casse le carrelage pour vérifier la dalle. Ben, que dalle! Juste une petite couche de ciment...


I knew in a second that I would never retile on that floor. The house, which is very old, needed to be saved first, meaning it needed a drain system of some kind to keep it dry. There were two agonising days when I had to wait for a new

estimate by the contractor. I was parying really hard that I would be able to pay for it and to save this little beauty:




J'ai su en l'espace d'une seconde que je voulais sauver la maison des eaux et qu'il ne servait à rien de poser un carrelage neuf sur ce sol inexistant... L'attente du nouveau devis a été une torture... Mais c'est bon, ça passe: il faudra juste revoir les ambitions pour la cuisine à la baisse.


I'm not going to torture you any longer: we decided on a fairly expensive but hopefully efficient drain system (not sure it's the right word, but dictionaries are in boxes!!!). I can afford it, but it means the kitchen will have to wait for a little more! 


In the next episode: how saving a house includes a lot of destruction!!!



Magali, from her parent’s house



Joining parties (though not in a party mood exactly...)


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Me, Myself... And The House!

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  • I've been looking for a house for some time now... And I think I found it! The thing is it needs a lot of work to be transformed from a house to "my" home. I've been looking for ideas on everybody's blogs, so i thought I could begin one of my own...
  • I've been looking for a house for some time now... And I think I found it! The thing is it needs a lot of work to be transformed from a house to "my" home. I've been looking for ideas on everybody's blogs, so i thought I could begin one of my own...

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